Best Players of the Rugby World Cup

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Post by miaow on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 2:42 pm

Saw a pretty ropey team of the tournament so far posted in another thread - predictably just the All Blacks and a few others.

With the group stages now over, who makes up everyone's 'best' XV from all 20 teams? Obviously not helped by 2 cancelled games.

For me, the two stand out half backs have been the Tongan scrum half - Sonatane Takulua - and the Japanese outside half, Yu Tamura. I'd say they have also been probably the two best players overall, despite Tamura missing a few kicks at goal. Wonderful pivot play and key to Japan's success.

Plenty more honourable mentions as well. For Wales, both our scrum halves - Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies - have been really good, Josh Adams on the wing has stood out as current leading try scorer. The back rows have played well, but probably not enough to stand out ahead of other options.

Elsewhere in Group D, Radrada, Yato, Tuisova, and Nayacalevu have all shone. Latu, Hooper, and Koroibete have been great for Australia, with Kerevi and Toomua proving key as well. Some admirable efforts from the Georgians and Uruguayans but, for me, no name or player has done enough to be considered up there with the players mentioned.

Keen to hear thoughts on who others would pick? Full XVs welcome but that feels a bit beyond me to manage.

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Post by Afro on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 2:56 pm

The Japanese scrum half has been the best/most important player in the whole competition for me.

He is so quick around the park and is paramount to the way they are playing
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Post by miaow on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:00 pm

Good call, another good player. I think Tamura adds the class and has been more integral, personally, as he's the 'brains' of the team, but definitely up there and in a different style to Takulua, who did well in a really structured game that broke loose as/when needed.

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Post by R!skysports on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:01 pm

The Scottish.....eerrr forget it Rolling Eyes

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:06 pm

Hard to say. Inevitably these things are a bit biased towards the close games. Realistically you could pick the england pack given how comprehensively they've controlled games.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:24 pm

Picking a "best of the group stages" and "best of the tournament" XVs is probably the fairest way to go about it, someone like the Tonga 9 or Radradra definitely deserve recognition but the knockouts will always sway opinion.

My attempt
1. Joe Marler
2. Shota Horie
3. Manasa Saulo
4. Lood De Jager
5. ??
6. Michael Leitch
7. Tom Curry
8. Kazuka Himeno
9. Yutaka Nagare (just)
10. Yu Tamara
11. Josh Adams
12. Anton Leinert Brown
13. Semi Radradra (Cheating a bit to get him in)
14. Kotara Matsushima
15. Beauden Barrett

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:27 pm

BamBam wrote:Picking a "best of the group stages" and "best of the tournament" XVs is probably the fairest way to go about it, someone like the Tonga 9 or Radradra definitely deserve recognition but the knockouts will always sway opinion.

My attempt
1. Joe Marler
2. Shota Horie
3. Manasa Saulo
4. Lood De Jager
5. ??
6. Michael Leitch
7. Tom Curry
8. Kazuka Himeno
9. Yutaka Nagare (just)
10. Yu Tamara
11. Josh Adams
12. Anton Leinert Brown
13. Semi Radradra (Cheating a bit to get him in)
14. Kotara Matsushima
15. Beauden Barrett

AWJ.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:28 pm

I think Labuschagne has been better than Leitch. Would also offer a shout out to Polledri who is unlucky not to have had a runout against NZ.

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Post by miaow on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:32 pm

It's obviously a tough one picking any French or English player as they not only missed a game, but also didn't play each other, the toughest opponent for each. Same applies to NZ as well albeit to a lesser extent given it was Italy.

No English forward has really stood out for me just yet. Pennaud for France looks decent. Ford for England probably worth a mention.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:33 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:

AWJ.

Purely from a playing viewpoint I feel that Ball has been more prominent than his skipper so far.

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Post by miaow on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:34 pm

Yes, Polledri looked good. Also the Russian 15 - apologies, don't know the name. Particularly given he had to deal with two decapitation attempts against Samoa. Very tidy all tournament, if not quite top drawer.

EDIT: Wouldn't pick AWJ yet. Good game v Oz but tough time against Fiji. One ineffectual clearout on a player over the ball - tried to roll him, barely moved, penalty Fiji. Also dropped a prominent pass in standing position - not a great pass, but skills under pressure/fatigue. Those stand out and I don't think you can put him in on that basis. Ball's looked good, agreed, but not involved enough.

Tough one in the forwards actually. Uruguay and Georgia and the lesser nations have looked decent in the tight. Maybe one of the Australians? Lineout's going pretty well. Rodda? Coleman?


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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:35 pm

miaow wrote:It's obviously a tough one picking any French or English player as they not only missed a game, but also didn't play each other, the toughest opponent for each. Same applies to NZ as well albeit to a lesser extent given it was Italy.

No English forward has really stood out for me just yet. Pennaud for France looks decent. Ford for England probably worth a mention.

NZ have played and won the toughest fixture of any qualifier so far imo.

Ford has played all 3 games, so as many as most of the 10s, and won man of the match 3 times.

Slightly surprised no mentions form anyone so far for Matsushima

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Post by BamBam on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:36 pm

LondonTiger wrote:

Slightly surprised no mentions form anyone so far for Matsushima

He's in my team angel

Best winger so far imo, then Radradra. Couldn't think of another centre so cheated by sticking Radradra there

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:38 pm

BamBam wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:

Slightly surprised no mentions form anyone so far for Matsushima

He's in my team angel

Best winger so far imo, then Radradra. Couldn't think of another centre so cheated by sticking Radradra there

Sorry completely missed that.

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Post by miaow on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 3:42 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
miaow wrote:It's obviously a tough one picking any French or English player as they not only missed a game, but also didn't play each other, the toughest opponent for each. Same applies to NZ as well albeit to a lesser extent given it was Italy.

No English forward has really stood out for me just yet. Pennaud for France looks decent. Ford for England probably worth a mention.

NZ have played and won the toughest fixture of any qualifier so far imo.

Ford has played all 3 games, so as many as most of the 10s, and won man of the match 3 times.

Slightly surprised no mentions form anyone so far for Matsushima

This is true, but by and large, to make this list you need to 'back up' a really good game, no? And NZ have basically been denied that with two gimmes - and one, Namibia, they reallly struggled with for 40 minutes, just like Australia v Georgia, Wales v Uruguay, and a few others.

Ford's in a similar position of doing it against poor opposition - played 14 men for 63 minutes against Argentina. It does dampen the performances somewhat, but still, he's up there - just not been as key/impressive as Tamura, personally.

And maybe that's part of the problem - good teams/systems make good players look good or 'better'. It's hard to really separate these things - maybe impossible. Maybe that's not even the point of this, anyway, it's just to pick who we think has stood out.

There's been so much quality from the like of Fiji and, less so, Tonga, and France, but it sometimes comes in bursts, or drops off...does that impact things? Does playing really well for 60 and losing because you're knackered mean you're worse than the solid player who kept going for 80 minutes?

All part of the 'fun'...

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Post by Old Man on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 4:33 pm

Cheslin Kolbe

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 4:45 pm

There is an old line about if you want to look thin hang around with fat people. If a forward pack is all performing well it can be hard to pick out individuals

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Post by BigGee on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 4:48 pm

Not many Scottish players going to trouble the scorers on this one, I would only suggest one, Jamie Ritchie who carried on his quietly impressive form from the 6N and looks as if he is going to be a mainstay of the Scottish backrow for years to come.

George Horne might have been if he had gotten any amount of game time against the better teams. He was pretty impressive against Russia though, at SH and on the wing!

Maybe one for the next WC.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 4:52 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
miaow wrote:It's obviously a tough one picking any French or English player as they not only missed a game, but also didn't play each other, the toughest opponent for each. Same applies to NZ as well albeit to a lesser extent given it was Italy.

No English forward has really stood out for me just yet. Pennaud for France looks decent. Ford for England probably worth a mention.

NZ have played and won the toughest fixture of any qualifier so far imo.

Ford has played all 3 games, so as many as most of the 10s, and won man of the match 3 times.

Slightly surprised no mentions form anyone so far for Matsushima

Yes Fords been mentioned in other XVs as the form 10, as has Matsushima, on the button there.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 4:56 pm

miaow wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
miaow wrote:It's obviously a tough one picking any French or English player as they not only missed a game, but also didn't play each other, the toughest opponent for each. Same applies to NZ as well albeit to a lesser extent given it was Italy.

No English forward has really stood out for me just yet. Pennaud for France looks decent. Ford for England probably worth a mention.

NZ have played and won the toughest fixture of any qualifier so far imo.

Ford has played all 3 games, so as many as most of the 10s, and won man of the match 3 times.

Slightly surprised no mentions form anyone so far for Matsushima

This is true, but by and large, to make this list you need to 'back up' a really good game, no? And NZ have basically been denied that with two gimmes - and one, Namibia, they reallly struggled with for 40 minutes, just like Australia v Georgia, Wales v Uruguay, and a few others.

Ford's in a similar position of doing it against poor opposition - played 14 men for 63 minutes against Argentina. It does dampen the performances somewhat, but still, he's up there - just not been as key/impressive as Tamura, personally.

And maybe that's part of the problem - good teams/systems make good players look good or 'better'. It's hard to really separate these things - maybe impossible. Maybe that's not even the point of this, anyway, it's just to pick who we think has stood out.

There's been so much quality from the like of Fiji and, less so, Tonga, and France, but it sometimes comes in bursts, or drops off...does that impact things? Does playing really well for 60 and losing because you're knackered mean you're worse than the solid player who kept going for 80 minutes?

All part of the 'fun'...

True, a tad sad though that you can’t bring yourself to even select or mention one player from the current favourite, some of whom must have done something right. Goes to credibility. Especially if you’re going to create AND dominate the thread. Can’t have things like that clouding your thinking. kiss

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 5:07 pm

I haven't seen every game (has anyone?) The games I've watched most closely are obviously the England ones. From England I've been most impressed with Marler, Curry, Ford, Tuilagi and Daly.

Whether any are making team of the pool stages, I'm not sure. You can say what you want about the opposition we've faced, but you can only beat what's in front of you and England have so far looked largely untroubled.

From other nations, I'd echo comments about Ritchie, Polledri and Radradra above, amongst of the best players I've seen not to make the knockouts. Yato was very good for a period against Australia as well.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 5:31 pm

Taylorman wrote:
miaow wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
miaow wrote:It's obviously a tough one picking any French or English player as they not only missed a game, but also didn't play each other, the toughest opponent for each. Same applies to NZ as well albeit to a lesser extent given it was Italy.

No English forward has really stood out for me just yet. Pennaud for France looks decent. Ford for England probably worth a mention.

NZ have played and won the toughest fixture of any qualifier so far imo.

Ford has played all 3 games, so as many as most of the 10s, and won man of the match 3 times.

Slightly surprised no mentions form anyone so far for Matsushima

This is true, but by and large, to make this list you need to 'back up' a really good game, no? And NZ have basically been denied that with two gimmes - and one, Namibia, they reallly struggled with for 40 minutes, just like Australia v Georgia, Wales v Uruguay, and a few others.

Ford's in a similar position of doing it against poor opposition - played 14 men for 63 minutes against Argentina. It does dampen the performances somewhat, but still, he's up there - just not been as key/impressive as Tamura, personally.

And maybe that's part of the problem - good teams/systems make good players look good or 'better'. It's hard to really separate these things - maybe impossible. Maybe that's not even the point of this, anyway, it's just to pick who we think has stood out.

There's been so much quality from the like of Fiji and, less so, Tonga, and France, but it sometimes comes in bursts, or drops off...does that impact things? Does playing really well for 60 and losing because you're knackered mean you're worse than the solid player who kept going for 80 minutes?

All part of the 'fun'...

True, a tad sad though that you can’t bring yourself to even select or mention one player from the current favourite, some of whom must have done something right. Goes to credibility. Especially if you’re going to create AND dominate the thread. Can’t have things like that clouding your thinking. kiss

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Post by miaow on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 5:36 pm

Calm down T. You smear the blackness over every thread you can, even when it's totally irrelevant. Plenty of other teams I didn't mention a player from, like SA, Ireland etc.

'Credibility'. Calm down. It's a rugby forum. It's a discussion. It's an ongoing thread. Just chill out.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 5:43 pm

Who’s not chilled. It’s great.
I see Aki’s out for three. A real pity but also a gain for the AB midfield I guess. A former Blues man would be very familiar with the AB attack and D.


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Post by miaow on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 6:02 pm

You appear to be wanting some AB validation - and are 'saddened' I haven't give it to you.

Alright.

I think the ABs front rows have looked the best so far. Could easily make a case for the props and hooker being from NZ. Pushed the Australians close in that regard. Both NZ 9s have looked good, Beauden Barrett has looked decent in patches but that Irish journalist was correct, he got away with some shocking defensive 'cheating' against Canada to kill their linebreak 5m out. Think there have been better performances from 15. Botched try against Namibia doesn't help as well. All these things add up.

As with England, hard to pick forwards v poor opposition, and did get relatively dominated by the Boks for most of the game with it being counterattack and turnover from errors that granted them the win. Scott Barrett possibly, nice try v SA and carried well. Anton Lienert Brown is doing well. Reece decent, but better than Kolbe? Don't think so. Tough one between Pietr Steph du Toit (sp) and Savea as blindsides, a number of good performances in that position.

Issue with NZ is you're basically judging players on a win v SA which in itself felt a bit like working each other out for what is still the most likely match up in the final. The issue is judging players on one game where you really need at least 2. Obviously this exercise become easier after the QFs where it's sink or swim. No ABs have been in a position to back up on top class performance with another where they're really tested as a team and individually shine - they've just dominated as units because they're playing Namibia and Canada - and so no one stands out. It's that simple.

Better?

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 6:20 pm

Taylorman wrote:Who’s not chilled. It’s great.
I see Aki’s out for three. A real pity but also a gain for the AB midfield I guess. A former Blues man would be very familiar with the AB attack and D.


Much of a muchness really, Henshaw, Farrell and Ringrose are all just as good as Aki. Makes winning the RWC harder with one less squad member though.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 6:30 pm

miaow wrote:You appear to be wanting some AB validation - and are 'saddened' I haven't give it to you.

Alright.

I think the ABs front rows have looked the best so far. Could easily make a case for the props and hooker being from NZ. Pushed the Australians close in that regard. Both NZ 9s have looked good, Beauden Barrett has looked decent in patches but that Irish journalist was correct, he got away with some shocking defensive 'cheating' against Canada to kill their linebreak 5m out. Think there have been better performances from 15. Botched try against Namibia doesn't help as well. All these things add up.

As with England, hard to pick forwards v poor opposition, and did get relatively dominated by the Boks for most of the game with it being counterattack and turnover from errors that granted them the win. Scott Barrett possibly, nice try v SA and carried well. Anton Lienert Brown is doing well. Reece decent, but better than Kolbe? Don't think so. Tough one between Pietr Steph du Toit (sp) and Savea as blindsides, a number of good performances in that position.

Issue with NZ is you're basically judging players on a win v SA which in itself felt a bit like working each other out for what is still the most likely match up in the final. The issue is judging players on one game where you really need at least 2. Obviously this exercise become easier after the QFs where it's sink or swim. No ABs have been in a position to back up on top class performance with another where they're really tested as a team and individually shine - they've just dominated as units because they're playing Namibia and Canada - and so no one stands out. It's that simple.

Better?

No I was just being cheeky following you’re own effort to be. I don’t care who’s there, so long as they win. Yes the NZ SA match was key and fair enough. It set the standard required to win this tournament.

For me, ALB has been easily the best 13, possibly best player of the tournament.

Pool play is nothing to judge a World Cup side on which is why the minnow sides won’t get a look in at the end. Quarters on where it matters is where players need to shine.

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Post by Engine#4 on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 12:06 am

Even as an Irish fan I don't think I could name an Irish player in a XV of the tournament right now. Josh van der Flier would be closest for me.

Lafaele from Japan has impressed me. ALB has looked good too but I'll be surprised if he comes out of Saturday as the best 13 on show.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 12:25 am

yes...if he doesn't...Ireland will win...he's now key...

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Post by George Carlin on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 11:11 am

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 11:54 am

Engine#4 wrote:Even as an Irish fan I don't think I could name an Irish player in a XV of the tournament right now. Josh van der Flier would be closest for me.

Lafaele from Japan has impressed me. ALB has looked good too but I'll be surprised if he comes out of Saturday as the best 13 on show.

I agree but to be fair Ireland has changed their side a lot. VdF has been our best player though.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 12:04 pm

Afro wrote:The Japanese scrum half has been the best/most important player in the whole competition for me.

He is so quick around the park and is paramount to the way they are playing

Read a stat that he played 50-odd minutes on Sunday. He made 75 passes and no kicks. Real difference to all other teams right there.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 16 Oct 2019, 11:29 pm

robbo277 wrote:
Afro wrote:The Japanese scrum half has been the best/most important player in the whole competition for me.

He is so quick around the park and is paramount to the way they are playing

Read a stat that he played 50-odd minutes on Sunday. He made 75 passes and no kicks. Real difference to all other teams right there.


Interesting stat, be interesting to see if the Boks can stop the link at Halfback and slow Japan down at the ruck.

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Post by miaow on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 9:18 pm

Yu Tamura probably buckled a bit under the Boks' pressure sadly, but agree that the Japanese 9 did himself no harm whatsoever for taking the mantle, even after bowing out at the QF stage. Aaron Smith and Gareth Davies probably the biggest threats at this stage.

Wonder who will shine in the SFs and put their names forward.

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Post by sensisball on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 9:39 pm

Charles Ollivon in the French back row put in consistently strong performances whenever he played, culminating in that galloping try against Wales. He clearly pulled away from North on route to splashing down between the sticks. He has finally begun to fulfill the promise he showed before a series of serious injuries kept him out of the French squad for the last few years.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 10:45 pm

Curry has been immense so far. A good game against NZ (which could be pivotal) and he should be in with a major shout.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 11:42 pm

Navidi was awesome for Wales up until his injury. He’s always very consistent and can play well at 6,7,8 - played very well against Australia. Wainwright has been good too, but still a bit raw... not bad at all for 3 years of rugby (2 at pro level) so could be a ‘world class’ player for years to come. Tipuric has been good too, but still a little hit and miss for me; MOTM one week and then very quiet the next.

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Post by Taylorman on Wed 23 Oct 2019, 12:27 am

For NZ Barrett has gone brilliantly and could well win the World POTY yet again. A rare talent that could be best in the world at both 10 and 15.

Aaron Smith was back to his very best against Ireland.

Read is coming right at the right time and Ardie Savea is right up there with the best loosies.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 7:53 am

Hmm. May change next week when we meet the SA pack but I'm still going with 1 to 8 English players.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 8:09 am

Could be, let’s hope they continue on. This time last year it was 8 Irish players after the AB win. Funny how things turn out huh?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 9:00 am

Possibly a front row of irish and a second row. Their props are still class. Heavily hit on the 7 front with injury. It's an underlying point I understand though in that the group probably need that 1 more big event performance to get the plaudits I think they already deserve.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 9:11 am

SA players that should be considered.

Tendai Mtwarira, Pieter Steph du Toit, Cheslin Kolbe.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 9:18 am

Mtawarira has been really good. Given england have split their starting loose head between marler and vunipola good shout. I dont think blindside is up for debate though. Has to be curry. Probably the best player in the world cup so far.
Kolbe is star dust.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 9:20 am

Curry and du Toit are very different types of flanker and suit differing styles of play.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 9:21 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Possibly a front row of irish and a second row. Their props are still class. Heavily hit on the 7 front with injury. It's an underlying point I understand though in that the group probably need that 1 more big event performance to get the plaudits I think they already deserve.

Curry and Underhill are the key to Englands renaissance IMO.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 9:25 am

True LT. In these sort of things I tend to just go with who have been the best players in the position rather than creating the best team.
Agreed to a point collapse much better than putting a lock at 6.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 9:40 am

R!skysports wrote:The Scottish.....eerrr forget it Rolling Eyes

"I'm not supporting the team of the tournament of they arent going to pick a token Scotlander how can it claim to represent the tournament if it doesnt include everyone equally" etc etc

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 9:41 am

Tuillagi at 12 or 13? We gonna go back to that can of worms again....

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 8:26 pm

Tom curry has to be player of the tournament.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 28 Oct 2019, 8:55 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Tuillagi at 12 or 13? We gonna go back to that can of worms again....

13. It's where he's been playing for the majority of the tournament.

Ford has been sensational for England. The media have been pretty disrespectful to him, consistently asking why it's not Farrell at 10 and questioning what he offers and his defence. Several former pros included, Ben Ryan even went as far to suggest you'd never win a RWC with Ford at 10. Hopefully that performance Vs the ABs will finally shut them up, he dominated.

Agree on the Japanese winger Matushima. He's been electric. The Tongan 9 Takulua was their general and kicked their goals. The Tongan fullback Vienau was a livewire as usual. Russian openside Ghadziev was everywhere and a real warrior. I was impressed by the USA utility back Te'o and really couldn't understand why he didn't start games instead of being an impact sub.

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